Ever since Bahrain established its Formula1 circuit, no one thought Gulf would get another GP, but with AbuDhabi track on calendar middle east has become the Formula1 hotspot. Sakhir GrandPrix will be held at the beginning of 2009 season and Yas Island will hot the grand finale.
Now felow Bahraini and Emarati officials signed an agreement to work toghether to attract more spectators and also gain more sponsorship opportunities. Tourism industry is the ultimate goal of this project, but it promises a whole new era in the region’s motorsport as well.
Teams from the Middle East’s two Formula One motor racing circuits met today to formalise a joint working agreement. A delegation from the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), lead by its Chairman Zayed R. Alzayani, was hosted at the Yas Marina Circuit by a delegation lead by the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM), Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
With the two tracks hosting rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the region in 2009 and beyond, both ADMM and BIC foresee opportunities to harness resulting administrative, sporting and business synergies.
The 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar includes 17 races with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on April 26th and the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix scheduled for November 1st.
Speaking during the meeting of the two organisations, Alzayani and Al Mubarak outlined the opportunities that exist for the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UAE as the region embarks on a new era for motorsport and its development in the Gulf.
Both BIC and ADMM have long term agreements – that run to the end of the next decade. These contracts are seen as a foundation for Grand Prix racing and the development of motorsport in general. They build on the awareness and heritage that BIC has established in the past five years.
The BIC has overseen the development of a stronger foothold for motorsport in the Middle East and a resulting sustainable long term future. As part of the joint working agreement both circuits will explore shared marketing, promotional and sporting administration initiatives that focus on generating increased derived business and tourism together with interest in motorsport in general.
Prior to the announcement members of the Bahrain International Circuit delegation toured the site of the new Yas Marina Circuit motorsport complex. Commenting on his first visit to the island Alzayani said, “The images of the circuit that I have seen do not do justice to the enormity of the project. This is an extremely impressive facility, one that underlines the burgeoning growth and importance of motorsport and its associated business to the Middle East. I would like to take this opportunity to compliment HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his vision and congratulate him, his team and the people of Abu Dhabi on the construction of such an awe inspiring facility.”
The working agreement between the BIC and ADMM allows for joint initiatives that can produce significant benefits for the region as the two circuits build sporting awareness and create a greater fan base for Formula One and motorsport in general.
“The Bahrain International Circuit has transformed international understanding of what our region might contribute to motorsport on a global level. It stands as a testament to the foresight of His Highness the Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad. Formula One is a global product that is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of spectators and enthusiasts and we are delighted to be able to contribute to, and help build upon, the incredible momentum that the Bahrain International Circuit has established for motor sport”. Said Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“We see many advantages in creating joint promotional activities around our two circuits and the Grands Prix that they host” said Zayed R. Alzayani. “With Bahrain at the beginning of the year and Abu Dhabi staging the season finale there are many projects on which we can work to attract more spectators, corporate clients and sponsors to the region’s two races. Additionally, as we grow the interest of the sport, there are many advantages of working together which will allow us to sustainably expand and strengthen motorsport in the region by attracting international championships to the region for double-header events that harness the excellence of both circuits.”
It was agreed that the management teams of the BIC and ADMM will meet regularly to share knowledge and explore and develop initiatives during the build-up to both of their respective F1 races.
In closing Khaldoon Al Mubarak commented, “We are extremely pleased to have received our colleagues from Bahrain International Circuit today and are delighted with the openness and support that we have received from the BIC team. We very much look forward to the benefits that this partnership will bring to the future of both of our organisations and as a result motorsport in the region.”